Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Water and weirdness on Mars

Our Mars program has made two interesting discoveries.

So what, you ask? Because high concentrations of silica form under only two known conditions: a hot spring, or a fumarole of acidic steam. On earth, both areas teem with life. In other words, conditions on Mars were once favorable for supporting life.

That's the name for multi-legged gullies like the one in the picture above, which radiate out from a central point.

Turns out the gullies are caused by carbon dioxide ice thawing and then flowing *uphill* to concentrate at the center, where they erupt in geysers, then freeze and fall back to the ground as carbon dioxide snow.

Just a reminder that, however Earthlike Mars might have been in the past, it sure isn't now.

, , ,

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home